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What is the reason for my backache?

Q: I am a 39 years old man. I developed low backache on both left and right sides similar to a muscle catch a few months back. After examination, the doctor told me that there is no problem in the spine but it is a muscle catch and he gave me medicines. Within 2 days, the problem got resolved. But after two months, the problem started again. I consulted another doctor and he suggested MRI of lumbar spine. The findings of the report are - vertebrae - lysis at L5 bilaterally. Grade 1 listhesis of L5 over S1, bony spinal canal diameter - normal, facetal joint - normal, intervertebral disc - normal and cord – normal. Impression - Lysis at L5 bilaterally. Grade 1 listhesis of L5 over S1, mild focal disc bulge seen at D12-L1 Level indenting thecal sac. The doctor says it is normal and suggested some exercises and weight reduction. Please advise.

A:This patient has L5-S1 spondylolisthesis, meaning slippage of L5 vertebra over S1. At the moment, patient should see a physiotherapist and do extension exercises. Majority of patients improve with the same. In case the pain gets worse, the only option is surgery in the form of spinal fusion.


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